Rupert Murdoch Says 'Nothing's Happening At Fox News'

Reuters

Fallout from the long-playing Fox News sexual harassment scandal continued to spread Friday, bringing increased scrutiny from US investigators and threatening Chairman Rupert Murdoch's bid to complete 21st Century Fox's $14.8 billion acquisition of Sky News in the United Kingdom.

The British media regulator, Ofcom, is examining whether it is in the public interest for the Murdoch-owned company to take full ownership of Sky, of which it already owns 39%.

The regulator could kill the takeover if it decides that 21st Century Fox - controlled by Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James - would not be "fit and proper" owners of Sky. A spokeswoman for The Sun's parent company - part of Murdoch's News Corp - said MacKenzie remains suspended, but declined further comment.

That news comes one day after radio reporter Jessica Golloher, a Middle East correspondent who has worked at Fox News since 2008, filed a sexual harassment suit in New York State Supreme Court.

Accusations of sexual harassment against former Fox News boss Roger Ailes and former star host Bill O'Reilly have turned the spotlight on the Murdochs' next big acquisition.

A second lawyer - Douglas Wigdor - will meet with Ofcom on Thursday to discuss allegations made by the 20 current or former Fox employees that he represents.

"There's nothing going on at Fox News", he said.

"It's phone hacking part two" she said.

Allen & Overy is acting for longstanding client 21st Century Fox on the proposed deal, leading on corporate, regulatory and competition matters.

Fox News averaged 2.4 million primetime viewers to finish atop the category for the third straight month. No wonder I didn't leave much of an impression.

The company says its recent actions "demonstrate its clear commitment to providing a positive, safe and inclusive workplace free of harassment and discrimination".

September 6, 2016: Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, who had publicly defended Ailes, announces she is leaving the network.

A spokesman for 21st Century Fox spokesman said management had taken decisive action to address reports of sexual harassment and workplace issues at Fox News.

It has been a tumultuous few months for Fox News, with multiple high-profile claims of sexual and racial harassment aimed at its top brass.

Alas I didn't have time to engage him more fully, but I suppose I could have said that - aside from the departures of the founder and chief executive, and the most high-profile and popular host on the channel, and the co-president who was a senior figure for decades - then, yes, nothing's happening at Fox News. The trouble for the company is that, on Thursday, Wigdor is going to spend rather a long time in the inner sanctum of Ofcom providing the kind of detail that can not be good news for the Murdochs' latest bid. He is not accused of harassment.

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